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Positive cell-to-module change: Getting more power out of back-contact modules

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By Bas B. van Aken & Lenneke H. Slooff-Hoek, ECN – Solar Energy, Petten, The Netherlands

Cell-to-module (CtM) loss is the loss in power when a number of cells are interconnected and laminated in the creation of a PV module. These losses can be differentiated into optical losses, leading to a lower
photogenerated current, and resistive losses, leading to a decrease in fill factor. However, since the application of anti-reflection (AR) coatings and other optical ‘tricks’ can sometimes increase the Isc of the module with respect to the average cell Isc, the CtM loss in such cases needs to be expressed as a negative value, which gives rise to confusion. It is proposed to use the CtM change, where a negative value corresponds to a loss in current or power, and a positive value to a gain. In this paper, the CtM changes for back-contact modules utilizing a conductive foil are described and compared with other mature module technologies. A detailed analysis of the CtM change for a full-size metal-wrap-through (MWT) module is presented.

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This issue of Photovoltaics International focuses on cell technology trends, manufacturing capacity, cell efficiency, mitigating light-induced degredation, new printing techniques, progress in thin-film technology and studies of studies of multicrystalline PV modules. Finlay Colville also provides a full market analysis of cell technology trends impacting module supply in 2017.

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